Pre-Flight - The Canadian Business Aviation Association Column

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Canadian Business Aviation Association

The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) is pleased to become a regular contributor to the Aviation Safety Letter by furnishing regular articles of interest to the aviation community.

The CBAA was incorporated in 1962. Our mission is to represent and promote the Canadian business aviation community globally, advocating safety, security and efficiency. Our vision is to:

  • foster safety, security, efficiency, and innovation for Canada’s business aviation community;
  • lead in the utilization of performance-based concepts;
  • promote a regulatory and policy environment which fosters the growth of business aviation;
  • adapt and align our resources and systems to grow and serve our membership; and
  • promote the value of business aviation and shape its distinctive identity.

Since January 2003, the CBAA, in collaboration with Transport Canada (TC), has become the issuing authority in Canada for private operator certificates (POC). With funding assistance from TC, extensive studies were completed that validated the feasibility and created a framework that would allow the CBAA to manage private operator certification under Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 604. These activities were managed and directed by the CBAA through a team of experts who created a concept, communicated and consulted with the operators, and developed an implementation plan. Following comprehensive implementation by CBAA staff, the transition of private operator certification from TC to the CBAA was authorized.

Fundamentally, the CBAA POC Program requires operators to develop a performance-based safety management system (SMS) that is verified through an independent audit process. The CBAA’s mandate is to develop and manage procedures to:

  • ensure that approved standards are available to all operators;
  • certify operators to the approved standards;
  • verify operator compliance through audits;
  • consider applications for exemptions and deviations;
  • suspend and/or cancel operator certificates for cause;
  • provide operators with an appeal process if their certificates are suspended or cancelled;
  • publish the standards and procedures in both official languages;
  • collect and analyze safety data and indicators; and
  • refer cases of non-compliance with the business aviation operational safety standards to the Minister.

This program of performance-based standards linked to an SMS is designed to manage the risks associated with the business aviation operating environment and to be flexible enough to meet the particular needs of operators in a wide range of operations. It allows TC to re-assign human and financial resources to areas with demonstrated higher levels of risk. When the Minister of Transport is of the opinion that the systems and procedures established and maintained by the CBAA have deficiencies that represent a threat to aviation safety, the Minister may issue a directive to the CBAA to take the necessary corrective measures.

The planned project objectives have been achieved on time and within budget. There are over 180POCs that have been issued by the CBAA. The success of the CBAA POC Program validates the merit of the directives announced in the National Civil Aviation Management Team’s Flight 2005: A Civil Aviation Safety Framework for Canada (TP13521).

The cornerstone of the CBAA POC Program is the establishment of a systematic, effective and appropriate flight department management system, commonly known as SMS. The premise of the POC Program is that proactive operator involvement will achieve the gains in safety and efficiency required for the road ahead in this ever-changing environment.

The CBAA hopes to share its experiences with the POC Program in forthcoming issues of the Aviation Safety Letter.

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